It had residents questioning whether there had been everything from an explosion to a bin falling over, but experts say there is enough evidence to suggest a meteor sped through Gwent.

People from Newport to Crosskeys, Blaenavon to Abergavenny reported hearing the loud bang shortly before midnight on Monday (August 27).

But it was in Cwmbran where most reports came in with concerned residents quickly taking to Twitter to try and find out what had gone on.

Twitter user @garyleck17 asked: "Is it true Cwmbran is being bombed?" while @emilugh, said: "What the hell just went on in Cwmbran??? The massive bang that everyone seems to have heard? #ohgod."

It appears though that it was in fact a meteor passing through the sky, either creating what is known as a "sonic boom" or most likely exploding.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Observatory in Greenwich said although their astronomers hadn’t registered it themselves, going on the many detailed descriptions from the public they were convinced it was a "bolide", also known as a detonating fireball.

These meteors travel faster than a bullet fired from a gun, and are travelling so fast they heat up to such an extent that they create a fireball in front of them and eventually get so hot they explode.

Dr Chris North, of Cardiff University’s school of Physics and Astronomy, said: "Meteors are basically bits of space rubble, bits of asteroids or comets. Most of them are the size of a grain of sand but some are bigger.

"Generally the atmosphere protects us from meteors but some burst through and maintain much of their speed, with on some occasions the meteor getting so hot it explodes creating a large bang.

"There is a lot of debris in space and the Earth is orbiting the sun at around 30 kilometres per second (about 60,000 MPH) so it is a case of us hitting meteors rather than the other way round."

Dr North said that if anyone had seen which direction they believed the meteor was travelling they could contact the British Astronomical Association by visiting